Presidential Transition Update

Orinthia T. Montague, the fourth president in Tompkins Cortland Community College history, has been named president of Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee. Her last day at Tompkins Cortland was August 23, 2021.

The Board of Trustees has named Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Paul Reifenheiser as the Administrator in Charge, beginning on August 24. He will serve in that capacity while a search is conducted for the next president of Tompkins Cortland Community College.

Presidential Search

The College has hired Pauly Group to assist with the search. Tompkins Cortland Community College Board of Trustees Chair Ray Schlather is chairing the search committee, with fellow Trustee Judy Davison serving as co-chair. 

Presidential Search Committee

Roxann Buck, Trustee
Judy Davison, Trustee
Aaron Decker, Assistant Professor, English
Fred Farah, Adjunct Instructor
Julie Gerg, Executive Director of the Tompkins Cortland Community College Foundation
Casey Goodwin, Director of Arthur Kuckes Child Care Center
Regina Grantham, Foundation Board member
Matty Hamel, Professor, Psychology
Paige Innis, Student Trustee
Gregg Kiehl, Library Director
Michele Lopez, Secretary, Alumni and Development
Schelley Michell-Nunn, Trustee
Michelle Nightingale, Associate Dean of Student Success and Retention
Julie Ray, Curriculum Assistant, Academic Records
Ray Schlather, Trustee
Rhonda Kowalski, Concurrent Enrollment Coordinator, CollegeNow
Chris Shanks, Associate Professor, Graphic Design
Tim Thompson, Coordinator of Diversity Education and Support Services

Ex-officio (non-voting committee members)

Johanna Duncan-Poitier, SUNY Sr. Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges and the Education Pipeline
Kevin Fitch, Cortland County Legislature liaison
Mike Lane, Tompkins County Legislature liaison
Jennifer Miller, SUNY Asst. Vice Chancellor for Community College Support
Zulaika Rodriguez, SUNY Asst. Vice Chancellor, Presidential, Recruitment, Evaluation and Development
Antoinette Trelle, SUNY Asst. to Sr. Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges

Jan Brhel, Executive Assistant to the President and Clerk of the Board of Trustees


Messages to the College community:

11/3/21 message from Board of Trustees Chair Ray Schlather
7/29/21 message from Board of Trustees Chair Ray Schlather
7/27/21 message from Board of Trustees Chair Ray Schlather
7/7/21 message from President Orinthia Montague


11/3/21 message from Board of Trustees Chair Ray Schlather


Request for Input for Presidential Search

The Board of Trustees has contracted with Pauly Group, Inc., a national search consulting firm that assists in the recruitment and successful hiring of community college executives, to facilitate the Presidential Search process. The Board of Trustees values your input and invites you to participate in a confidential survey to express your thoughts as to the characteristics needed in the next President of TC3.

In order to maintain our schedule of launching this search before Thanksgiving, please submit your responses by noon on Tuesday, November 9. The survey will be deactivated at that point.

Please visit to complete the survey.

Comments from the surveys are confidential and will go only to Pauly Group. They will then be used to develop a position profile used for recruiting applicants.

Further updates on the Presidential Search Process
•The Search Committee has been selected and held their first meeting on Monday, November 1, 2021
•Angela Provart, President of Pauly Group, Inc., will be at TC3 to visit our sites and facilities on November 9 and 10
•A position profile will be developed based on the comments from the Needs Analysis survey, Angela’s visit to TC3, and input from the Search Committee
•The search committee will identify and interview candidates in January, 2022
•Final candidates will be at TC3 meeting with the Board of Trustees and various constituency groups in February. Once identified, these dates will be announced
•The candidates selected by the TC3 Board will meet with the SUNY Chancellor in March/April
•The SUNY Board of Trustees will approve the TC3’s Board’s decision on the successful candidate in April
•The successful candidate will begin in late spring, 2022

It is an exciting time at TC3 as we work to hire our next President. Thank you for your assistance in developing the position profile for that process. Please stay tuned for additional information and updates.

Ray Schlather
Board Chair and Presidential Search Committee Chair



7/29/21 message from Board of Trustees Chair Ray Schlather

Dear colleagues:
On behalf of the Board of Trustees I am delighted to announce that Dr. Paul Reifenheiser, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, has accepted the invitation to serve as the Administrator In Charge beginning August 24th.  
He will succeed Dr. Orinthia Montague, who will leave her current position as president on August 23rd. The Board will continue to work on identifying an interim president with the assistance of the SUNY system.
I would like to thank all those who submitted nominations to fill this administrator in charge.
Please join me in congratulating Paul and welcoming him to his temporary role as administrator in charge.

Ray Schlather
Chair of the Board of Trustees



7/27/21 message from Board of Trustees Chair Ray Schlather

Dear Members of the TC3 Community, 
The Board of Trustees received and formally has accepted Dr. Montague’s resignation as President of Tompkins Cortland Community College effective August 23, 2021. Dr. “O” has served the college well during a time of unprecedented challenge and uncertainty. We wish her much continued success in her new role. As we look to the future, the Board is appointing an Administrator in Charge (AIC) upon Dr. Montague’s departure.  That individual will be appointed from the senior leadership of the college and will be announced shortly. The selected AIC will assume their role on August 24th. The AIC will lead the college for 60-90 days pending appointment of an Interim President by the TC3 Board and the SUNY Board of Trustees. Additionally, during the next 3-4 months, the Board will hire a search firm and will appoint a search committee. Stakeholders from across campus and the community will be part of the search committee. We look forward to hearing your voices during the search process for a permanent president.
             Thank you for your continuing hard work and professional commitment to this great school.

Ray Schlather
Chair of the Board of Trustees



7/7/21 message from President Orinthia Montague

Good afternoon,

A few weeks ago I shared that I was a finalist for a presidential opportunity. Today I am writing to share that I have been offered and accepted the position pending Tennessee Board of Regents approval.  My last day on campus will be August 23rd.
This is a bittersweet announcement for me. Leaving is not an easy decision. I came to TC3 in 2017 as a new president and have grown both personally and professionally during my time at the College. TC3 is an exceptional institution with tremendous faculty, staff, and students and gem within the SUNY system.  But when I was approached to apply for this opportunity,  I explored the possibilities and it became clear that this was an opportunity I could not pass up. I will go to Volunteer State Community College as a better version of myself, thanks in large part to my time within  the TC3 community.
The TC3 Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Monday, July 12th to discuss a plan to continue the forward momentum of the College during this transition. Additional information will be shared with the College community after that meeting. In the meantime, please accept my thanks for your support, both in the past and moving forward. My heart is forever full of wonderful memories at TC3 and my door is forever open to all of my TC3 family.



Dr. Orinthia Montague